An update for East Works District, a large development project planned for the Cool Springs area, was presented at a virtual neighborhood meeting for Franklin residents on May 5.
The project, set to be developed in a 50-acre lot between Carothers Parkway, I-65 and Cool Springs Boulevard, is proposed as mixed-use with commercial, multi-family residential, single-family residential, hotel and office buildings across the property.
“The idea is to create a true neighborhood, more urban in its character, but a neighborhood nonetheless,” said Brian Wright, the founder of the Town Planning and Urban Design Collaborative. “In addition to the mix of uses, we have incorporated vital and active streetscapes with outdoor dining and parks and plazas.”
Wright said the development would be in line with the vision of the newly-adopted Envision Franklin and corresponding updated zoning ordinance of the city, and he said his firm was working to make sure the development’s architecture would fit with the character of the Cool Springs community.
“We’re not trying to replicate Main Street, and I think most people would agree that any effort to replicate Main Street would fall short because it’s so lovely,” Wright said, adding that a lot of consideration was being put into the open spaces included in the project.
Wright said the project would not “happen overnight,” and he said he expects the total buildout to span over six phases over the course of 10 to 20 years if approved, and said the development would include public art, lights and stormwater improvements.
Caleb Thorne with Ragan-Smith Associates, an engineering firm involved with the project, said the firm has worked with the city and developer to study the impacts on traffic the development would have and suggested improvements the development would bring to surrounding streets to accommodate the East Works District.
Proposed transportation improvements suggested by Thorne include upgrades to intersections at Carothers Parkway and Cool Springs Boulevard; Carothers Parkway and Bakers Bridge Avenue; and improvements to the northbound and southbound ramps leading to I-65 over the course of three stages.
“These are the critical areas that we looked at, analyzed and came to an understanding to be part of the off-site improvements,” Thorne said.
Opportunities for formal public comment on the proposed project are scheduled for May 28 during a Franklin Planning Commission meeting and July 28 at a public hearing during a Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.